Encourage your WILD child! The end of our walk…

So, over the past week, we’ve discussed the MANY ways to help you become a better, “WILDER” mommy. But as our walk comes to an end, it’s not YOU I want to discuss, but your kids! The final piece in being a Wild Mommy is encouraging a WILD CHILD!

Now, you may see “Wild Child” and think misbehavior or craziness, but much like being a “Wild Mommy”, it really is more about breaking down the societal norms.

It seems to me, that it would be a “no-brainer” to encourage your child to do whatever they desire in life. As parents, it’s our job to encourage our children to explore the world around them and make choices based on a good moral foundation. But, I have seen, too many times, parents making choices for their kids and the problem is that it doesn’t seem like they are doing that. There are 2 ways, that parents STUNT their children’s growth and REPLACE it with their own agenda.

#1- PUSHING- Making a child part of an activity which they did not choose.

#2- LIMITING/PROHIBITING Not allowing a child to be a part of an activity they choose due to societal “norms” or personal opinion.

Both of these are ways that you STUNT your child’s personal growth and replace it with your OWN agenda. Which, in my opinion, is completely and UTTERLY WRONG!

One of the most important thing we can do as parents, is to create a child who is comfortable being themselves. In a world, so full of insecurities, it drives me crazy to see kids, when generally interested in something, being shut down by their parents preconceived notions. The fact is, our children need the ability to discover life on their own. What parents are there for, is to give them a compass, or a map, something that can HELP them shape their decisions based on good moralities, but it doesn’t CHOOSE THEIR JOURNEY!

Let me ask you, reader, have you ever heard the terminology “Find Yourself”? MANY young adults use this phrase. It usually coincides with college or a trip or whatever, between about 18-25. This concept, didn’t come from nothing.

Children who are not allowed to explore themselves at young ages, feel compelled to do so when they are older. The problem with this, is when you raise a kid who isn’t secure in who they are, they either tend to ALTER who they are in order to “fit in”  or end up exploring NEGATIVE things, they perhaps would never have been interested in before, had they been allowed more freedom.

The steps to preventing this are SUPER EASY, right?

All you have to do is let your kid be his or her self.

But, really, it can be harder than you think. So, let’s take a look at the 2 ways we stunt their growth.

#1- PUSHING

Now, there is a difference between pushing and encouraging. You should never force your child to be involved in an activity or group, that they did not express their OWN interest in. Some parents will argue, that their kid is too young to decide what activities to be involved in. I see it all the time, kids being put into little league or gymnastics, and the kid doesn’t really want to be there. If your child, is too young to tell you what they are interested in, then they are too young to be IN anything. If your child cannot express their interests, put them in educational classes or social play classes, and let them decide what they are interested in. Just present them with all options, and encourage them to at least choose ONE. But, let it be their choice. A good way to help your child figure it out is by showing them examples of sports and activities available and asking them what they LIKE about each one. Perhaps your kid doesn’t like football, but as he/she is watching they see a player take off running and decide, they like track! Or, you could be showing them a dance routine, and they could decide they really like making music! Just, expose them to everything, and let them CHOOSE. Don’t try to force them because you did that when you were young, or because you think they may be talented in a field. Because, the fact is, if you PUSH them to do something, and they don’t do it for themselves, then they really will never fully ENJOY the activity. It will always be something they are FORCED to do, not WANTING to do.

#2- LIMITING/PROHIBITING

Okay, so my biggest example of this is GENDER limiting. But, it also happens with age, race and social standing. And frankly, it just has to STOP! There is absolutely NO REASON why any child should not be allowed to do what makes them HAPPY. I mean, again, this seems like a no-brainer. Hey, cheer leading really makes your boy happy, so why would you want him to NOT be HAPPY? Now, the argument was made to me once, that the reason is to prevent your child from being ostracized. It was argued that if you allowed a boy to cheer or a girl to play ball they would receive negative attention and it could be potentially damaging. That my friends, is a big pile of bull! For one, there is NO guaranteeing that a child will be teased. I have known male cheerleaders and female players that were VERY popular. But seriously, I want you to consider the message it sends to a child.

The message is: If someone is going to make fun of you for your choice or passion, you should just NOT DO IT! Is that really what we want our future generations to be like? A bunch of conforming, look-alike, act-alike, insecure, LOST people? Of course not! I think every parent would agree that they want their child to be strong, independent and UNIQUE. Well, part of creating that, is allowing those kids to cross the stereotypical boundaries. Not limiting their hearts and minds, but allowing them to break down centuries of walls we have built up for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON!

 

If, as a parent, you can present your child with an environment that encourages them to be who they want to be and do what they love, you will create a WILD CHILD, who will grow into an adult that is STRONG in their moral compass and HAPPY with the life they choose to live.

So, let your boy wear PINK and let your girl play in the MUD! Then encourage them both to find what THEY LIKE, and let ’em go! You’ll never find a happier, more well-balanced child.

 

So, that concludes our WALK ON THE WILD SIDE!

If you missed any part of our journey, feel free to go back and check it out OR, tomorrow I will have a quick review, if you’d just like to catch up!

On a side note, I am kind of sad, to see it come to an end!

BUT, I look forward to MONDAY when I begin to give tips and ideas along with stories and lessons I have learned. The REAL adventure begins now, as we actually start APPLYING all the things I’ve talked about this past week!

 

I hope to continue to see everyone reading! It sure makes me happy to see people gaining interest in becoming the BEST PARENT they can be!

 

Until Next time,

Wild Mommy MC

@wildmommymc

WildMommyMC@yahoo.com

“I’m a mom not a nun!”- Walking this road as only YOU can

“I’m a MOM not a NUN!”

Yes, that was my response to a woman who, deciding my top was too low cut to be wearing around MY OWN CHILD, told me I wasn’t setting a good example of how a woman should dress for my daughter.

First of all, let me begin by saying, just because you ARE a parent, does not mean you have the right to PARENT SOMEONE ELSE’S CHILD or tell them HOW to parent their OWN child. It is one thing, to offer advice, whether solicited or not. And quite another to stand, in front of someone’s CHILD and INSULT them or their parenting!

However, this woman’s inappropriate comment did get me thinking about how much we TRY to change ourselves when we become parents. Now, obviously, there are things that have to change when you become a parent. You can’t be a parent and party all night long, get intoxicated every night, etc. But, again, those are fairly obvious! The change that I am talking about is subtle. It begins, in moms, when we become preggo! From the moment you are AWARE of that little person inside of you, you begin to take stock of your life. You really do begin to see things differently. And a lot of times, it’s all for the good! OF COURSE you have to learn not to spend all your money on shoes! and of course, you should probably NOT wear your Prada around spit up, so you should probably consider Walmart from now on. Yeah, I get it, some things do HAVE TO CHANGE. But, they DO NOT have to disappear.

#1- Do what you LOVE.

You find out you’re pregnant. Suddenly, all of those awesome things you used to be involved with are out of the picture.

The worst part about this change, is that in the beginning it seems like the right thing to do.  Many moms do it, before they even realize they have. At first, it’s because we don’t want to be away from our child, then it becomes we are too busy as moms to have time for ourselves. I am sure, most people, have heard at least one mom talk about never getting to do anything for herself. Well, it’s true! Most moms, spend every waking moment making sure someone ELSE is happy.  Under the guise of being a good mom, many of us will sacrifice our wants, desires and NEEDS. And the reality is, if we took more time for ourselves, we would be better moms! When you spend all of your time, pouring yourself out for others, and no time filling yourself up, you will soon become empty. And you don’t just become empty for yourself, you will be EMPTY FOR OTHERS, as well. So, it is important to stay involved in your passions. Continue to read, write, dance, bake, tattoo or pierce yourself. Whatever it is, that FILLS YOU UP. Because, you cannot be any good for your child if you are empty. Plus, it sets a great example for your child, to see YOU doing what you love. It inspires them to do the same.

#2- Mommy Style, NOT Granny Style.

Okay, so this will more directly address the woman who confronted me about my top.

First of all, I do, in fact, wear low cut shirts. HOWEVER, I would not call any of them too low cut. None of my outfits have “plunging” necklines. Most are regular shirts, I just happen to have a lot of cleavage!

But, what I really want to point out, is that the lady is just wrong in her logic! Her ideology is that because my daughter sees me wearing something low cut, she will become a hussy. Well, let’s take a look at that.  First, let’s consider the fact that just because someone dresses a certain way, does not mean it is indicative of their behavior or attitude. I have known many women who dressed conservatively, but slept around. And I have known many women who dress sexily and have NEVER slept around. So, I’d pretty much say that you cannot judge a book by it’s cover.  and secondly, I’d like to point out the fact that you, reader, probably DO NOT dress like your mother.  And you’re not alone in that. I would say MOST TEENAGERS do NOT consider their parent’s style, when choosing their own.  So, if we’re not talking consciously, then sub-consciously. Well, subconsciously, The only thing my daughter will learn from my low-cut shirts is how to be stylish! lol Because, what I wear doesn’t make me who I am! My low cut shirt doesn’t make me a hussy. Acting like a hussy makes you a hussy. Acting like a hussy in front of your child, will create a hussy. In no way am I saying we don’t have an affect. I’m just saying, if you teach your kid the right MORALS, what they wear won’t matter. What YOU wear won’t matter. Boo may grow up thinking “My mom dressed really sexy back then” But she will also grow up knowing how to be a GOOD RESPECTABLE WOMAN, because THAT is who I AM! So, don’t give up your cute outfits and sexy shoes, just teach them the MORALS to back it up.

AND Finally,

#3- It’s YOUR child.

Like I mentioned earlier, there is a difference between parenting ADVICE and bad-mouthing a parent. Obviously, I think advice from other parents can be a good thing. Duh, otherwise we wouldn’t be here! But, I believe I have mentioned, and will probably continue to mention, that the choices you make on how to raise your child are PERSONAL. How you decided to raise your child is NOT my business. Now, I will give advice til I am blue in the face. And if I ever KNEW of any child abuse it would be reported. But beyond that, everyone has the right to create their own family’s rules and procedures.  The greatest tragedy, is seeing a parent BEND to the will of a non-parent. Just because a person is older and/or more experienced with children does not mean they know what is right for YOU and YOURS. Each person is different, each family is different and what works for some may not work for others.  While I totally  believe that, as a parent, you should read any and all information you can get your hands on and listen to everybody’s advice, I don’t believe that ALL the advice and information you find should be integrated into your parenting techniques. Find the ones you agree with, and integrate those. THEN, Don’t let ANYONE make you feel bad or WRONG for how you choose to raise YOUR CHILD.

Many, MANY people have argued with me about my parenting techniques. And my response to them is always the same… “So, where’s your Cesarian scar from Boo’s birth?”  Meaning, you didn’t go through those 9 long months, you didn’t spend a month on bed rest in a hospital, you didn’t get your stomach cut open in order for her to come into this world, so do not try to TAKE OVER what is NOT YOURS!  lol

 

When you’re a Mom, it almost seems selfish to even consider YOURSELF for a moment. and that, my fellow moms, is a BIG FLAW in our Mom Logic.  The best thing we can do for our FAMILY and CHILD, is take care of ourselves and be a little selfish sometimes. Trust me, no mom will ever be able to put herself first. But, you can find ways to at least be #4 or #5, right? RIGHT!

This means, you take time to consider and utilize the 3 tips I have just given you:

#1- Do what you love- remember to fill your cup up with the things you enjoy, so that you can be there to fill up your kid’s cup!

#2- Mommy Style, NOT granny style- remember, don’t ditch the outfits, ditch the ACTIONS. Be a mom, dress like a model.

#3- It’s YOUR child- remember that only YOU AND YOURS can create the best foundation for your family

So, now that we have a basis for keeping ourselves REAL, Join me Wednesday when we discuss “Keeping ourselves WILD!”

Where we will talk about ways to keep yourself involved and engaged with your child! As well as fighting that ever growing child attitude of “Parents just don’t understand”.

 

Til next time,

Wild Mommy MC

@Wildmommymc

wildmommymc@yahoo.com

A walk on the WILD SIDE!

So, remember how we went over the “Top 5 Ways to be a Wild Mommy”?

After I wrote that, I soon realized there was a LOT MORE information there than I originally thought. The BLOG became fairly lengthy and I never REALLY got around to explaining the WILD side of Wild Mommy, either! I also realized that once a week, well, just really wasn’t enough! Honestly, with so much to say in just my FIRST BLOG, I thought to myself “Why not more like Monday, Wednesday, Friday?”. So, well, here I am, with another little gem, (Not quite so lengthy this time, either!)

So, the first thing I’ll do is remind everyone of the Top 5 list:

#1- Affection is the best Affirmation(Submitted by my beautiful daughter)

#2- Stay COOL

#3- Take time to LISTEN

#4- DO NOT spare the rod

#5- Set up the Framework for Friendship

These 5 Mommy attributes are a great foundation for ANY parent! I have seen, in my relationship with my daughter, that these 5 things CAN greatly improve:

a) your relationship,

b) your child’s behavior,

c) you and your family’s stress levels

and,

d) you and your family’s future!

So, implement those ideas, and you become a MOMMY. But what I consider the “Wild Side” is the addition of other behaviors that separate you from the “norm”.

Now, there are many smaller attributes to being a WILD mommy. Some of my PERSONAL ones include: having tattoos, having a tongue ring, listening to popular music, being fashionable, encouraging Boo (my girl) to sing, dance and act silly and doing those things MYSELF! But I realize, some of you, may not include all of those things! That’s why I say the definition of Wild Mommy is personal. But the idea is that you have those little attributes that throw out the old-school idea of becoming a mother being similar to becoming a NUN! lol But, there are also some attributes, more like my previous “Top 5” that, again, break the mold! So, I’d now like to discuss those. BUT, I am definitely more aware of length now, so I will be breaking it down into a FEW medium BLOGS instead of one super huge blog!

Here is the list of the

TOP 5 ways to be WILD:

#5- Don’t cap intelligence

#4- Honesty IS the best policy

#3- Stay true to YOU

#2- Keep yourself WILD

#1- Encourage a WILD child

So, we’ll start with #5 and work our way down to #1 over the next few BLOGS. and again, since I realize I have so much more to say about being a Wild Mommy, I intend on BLOGGING every Monday, Wednesday and Friday instead of the aforementioned “once a week”!

Okay, so let’s begin with our # 5 way to be WILD:

#5- Don’t Cap Intelligence

At first glance, this seems like a fairly OBVIOUS “good idea”! And I would think most of you are sitting there going “Well, DUH!”. But I am almost DOUBLY certain you have all DONE this very thing. I know I did it. All the time, with other children and even my OWN in the beginning. It comes in the form of “I will tell you when you’re older”.  Now, I want to begin by saying, of COURSE there are some pieces of information, simply not suited for certain ages. Particularly those of a sexual nature. BUT, there is a lot of information that isn’t unsuitable, rather, we believe it is too COMPLEX for our little ones. I believe this begins at a YOUNG age. I’m talking NEWBORN! Something I did with Boo, that I believe has made her so intelligent, is that I explained EVERYTHING. Not only would I narrate my actions when she watched me perform a task, but even before she could talk, when she was disciplined she also received very SIMPLE explanations. Now, I had several people argue with me over this ideology. The main argument in explaining things to toddlers or younger is that they simply “Don’t Understand what You’re saying”. And while some of the words you may use might be new to your child, most of them will be words he/she has encountered before. By using these words, over and over, we actually TEACH the DEFINITION! And, by introducing NEW words, we EXPAND their VOCABULARY. You could ask anyone who knows my Boo, for a 4 year old, her vocabulary is fairly extensive. Not only does she have a decent command of grammar and syntax, but she uses many words and phrases that you wouldn’t expect a 4 year old to know. All because I made sure to explain EVERYTHING and talk to her with as much respect to her growing mind as possible. The fact is, when your baby is stringing together garbled speech, inside their MIND is a much more complex idea! They just can’t get it out! So, just because they cannot SAY IT BACK, doesn’t mean they don’t UNDERSTAND! Heck, I can go one step further, even if you’d like to argue that there is no way they understand all of the meaning, let me point out that we talk and explain things like “bad boy” to our DOGS! And Dogs, who we know have no true concept of ENGLISH LANGUAGE, actually LEARN the explanations! It has been proven time and time again, that they LEARN that a particular set of sounds strung together, mean a particular set of actions/feelings from their master. If a DOG can learn this, are you telling me your CHILD cannot? So, no, they might not understand at first, but they will learn. Also, much like dogs, children are EXTREMELY good at understanding TONE. And that will also help them to learn the definitions of words.

One of the phrases, most commonly heard by parents is the old “Because I said so”. I have always had a problem with this.The fact is, as parents, it’s our job to teach our children MORALS. So, by using that phrase you are defaulting to control and submission instead of encouraging their brains to make MORALS. Don’t get me wrong, your child SHOULD respect you enough that because you said so is a good enough reason to STOP their behavior, but for you as a parent, it’s not a good enough explanation! Really explain to them exactly WHY what they did was WRONG. Not only will it increase their vocabulary and encourage them to THINK, but in the end you get a child who understands why they shouldn’t repeat the action due to LOGIC instead of fear! It will also build their ability to perceive which actions COULD merit the same response. Now, this creates intelligence in “Don’t do this” situations, but it creates something even GREATER in “hurting others” situations. I discovered, in raising Boo, that as I took the time to explain why what she did HURT myself or another, she became a deeper, more thoughtful and compassionate little person! And one thing I have learned to include is an example of the wrong they did, done to them. Then you ask them “And how would YOU feel?”. It gets them thinking, but with their HEARTS. Creating a kid that actually CARES about the people surrounding him/her.

The last addition to Capping Intelligence is a quote I like to use

“When she’s old enough to ask, she’s old enough to know”

I implement this into my parenting ALL THE TIME! And I have received a lot of MIXED reviews on my method! Some people, cannot let go of the “Age Restrictions” we have put on information. Well, I happen to think that is somewhat crazy! Now, there are certain topics which I avoid with Boo, but it’s easy to avoid them now because she cannot articulate more detailed questions. However, my 4 year old has already asked me how she was made. The short answer was my choice, By your Daddy C and me. Then I went on to explain genetics. How you get half of your daddy’s traits and half of your mommy’s traits, pointing out the ones she had from each of her parents! See, I didn’t have to discuss sex, because she has no concept of it. But she does have a concept of EXISTING, and wanted to know how that came about. However, when she does reach the age, where she can articulate the appropriate question of MECHANICS, I fully intend on telling her. Because in my opinion, if she’s old enough to ask ME, she is old enough to ask someone else. And I’d rather her information come from me, since I am the one in charge of her safe-keeping and MORALITY building! Sounds like a great concept, right? But, inevitably the argument will come that this method simply makes children grow up too fast. No. Simple as that, it WILL NOT. In no way does intelligence lead to maturity. I am CERTAIN, everyone out there knows at least ONE smart, but socially immature person. There is your irrefutable proof. Social maturing comes from EXPERIENCE, not knowledge. Now, perhaps you will increase the advance of maturity by giving your child knowledge, but it will not take away from their childhood experiences. The only way you can “grow your child up” too fast, is by forcing them to use their knowledge to change their experiences. An intelligent kid, left alone, might do more educational activities, but they won’t completely neglect playing tag, hide and go seek and doing other normal social “kid” activities. However, it can encourage relationships with other intelligent children, encourage depth to childhood relationships and deepen appreciation and enjoyment for all activities. It’s up to you, as a parent, to maintain that balance! Don’t PUSH your kid to do something of a higher maturity! If they encounter it on their own, and decide to be involved, that’s their CHOICE! But otherwise, let them be kids, just SMART kids! lol

So that’s it for Capping Intelligence! I hope this will encourage everyone to teach their kid something NEW and INTELLIGENT! Taking the time out to teach your child EVERYTHING, may seem like a daunting task, but as you do it, it becomes a normal thing. Each one of your child’s questions becomes a learning experience, instead of just an answer! And you will be amazed at how much your child will, in turn, WANT to learn about the world around them. You’ll also have many chances to really SEE your child as the person they are becoming. And, trust me, it is super neat, to hear your child’s opinion on intelligent subjects!

For instance, it absolutely amazed me when my daughter wanted to know what “gay” meant. And, at first, I wondered if I should even go there. But, she had picked up on the topic of “Gay Marriage” and she didn’t understand what that meant. So I explained that when I man loves a man or a woman loves a woman that is gay, or homosexual. When a man or woman loves the opposite, it is straight. Then she asked “So, gay people can’t get married?”. I was shocked. I had never actually said that to her, she had picked it up from the news! (little satellite ears) So, I answered her, “No, they are not”. And what was her response?

“That’s not fair mommy, if you love someone you should get married! That’s what you do!”.

I personally, agree with her, though I respect (AND UNDERSTAND) those who do not. But what really amazed me is that she came up with her OWN OPINION. Never had I actually discussed the right/wrong of gay marriage. Never had I really discussed homosexuality at all! She was curious about a word: Gay. Her curiosity sparked her intelligence, so she asked me. Her intelligence led her to more knowledge, so she began thinking. That thinking led her to a MORAL. A moral I am very proud to say that she has!

That’s what I want everyone to see with ALL of this.

That AMAZING, chain reaction that happens, when you Do not Cap your child’s Intelligence!

Well, THANKS for reading! I hope you enjoyed it, and perhaps, learned some too!

Join me TOMORROW, as we look at #4- Honesty is the best Policy. Tied into our previous list’s #5, Framework for Friendship, we take a look at this attribute that we all want our children to have and yet we do things to teach them the opposite!

Until next time,

Wild Mommy MC

@wildmommymc

wildmommymc@yahoo.com